Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lounging around

I have almost 7 hours to wile away in Heathrow, waiting for my flight to Cairo. So, I'm in the lounge again, trying to resist eating too much and just having lots of tea and coffee. Given that beer, wine and hard liquor are available just for the taking, it surprises me somewhat that there don't seem to be many people taking serious advantage of it. But that's good because it does mean that the lounge is a nice, quiet place to hang out, certainly better than in general departure area -- and undoubtedly calmer than the bedlam that awaits me in the Cairo airport.

It's a gorgeous day here -- totally sunny (no sign of ash-filled air) and a temperature of 21 degrees or so. But airports, of course, are places from which you can only look outside and not venture out, so it seems something of a waste to see blue sky but not be able to enjoy it. I haven't been in Terminal 5 before but it feels little different from the other cavernous buildings here to which I have become accustomed from previous trips. A bit more glass and more industrial in design, perhaps, but the stores are the same and the available goods identical -- I'd be hard pushed to find anything worthy of taking home as a souvenir from here. One unique thing I did notice was a Gordon Ramsey restaurant "Plane Food". That hardly seems like a winning name to me although I acknowledge its pun-ish character.

I do like puns and other plays with language. To pass the time here, I have checked out the available reading material in the lounge. It's not as interesting a selection as in the Air Canada lounges (maybe because most of it is just "too British" for my tastes these days) but I did come across a cartoon that played nicely on the cliche of "Happiness comes from living today like it's the last day of your life". It had the character saying "I'm dying, I'm dying -- funny, I don't feel any overwhelming sense of happiness." That reminded me of a cartoon in my office that has a man pointing at his cat sitting next to a litter box, saying: "Never, ever, think outside the box". I like both of those because they emphasize the ridiculousness of taking things literally -- or, more precisely, it makes me ponder the fact that it's seldom that we really use language in a literal way, that fundamentally all language is metaphorical because words are not, by themselves, the "things" we are talking about. But, of course, lots of people like to claim they are dealing with things "literally" but really they are just making a rhetorical move in order to claim authority for their own interpretation while dismissing the validity of everyone else's. But literalism can produce some amusement -- although I'm not sure Gordon Ramsey's will prove commercially wise. Maybe there's something in that to ponder too.

Hmmm. No word yet on how I might be getting home from Cairo. No pun or play there.

PS: I forgot to mention that I only watched one film between Vancouver and London: it was (naturally, if you think about it) “Up in the Air” – not that I’m being displaced from my position at work, but rather because my strong desire to accumulate points so as to access these lounges dominates everything!!

1 comment:

Jill said...

Yeah, language just can't cut it, can it? Sometimes (all the time?) our labelling traps us. And I have to type "bowakler" to post that's something I'd like to be!